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A Farberge egg locket, black/yellow enamel, diamonds, circa 1980's in excellent conditionÖ A touch of history.
Only within the last century were chocolate and candy eggs exchanged as Easter gifts. But the springtime exchanging of real eggs-white, colored, and gold-leafed is an ancient custom, predating Easter by many centuries. From earliest times, and in most cultures, the egg signified birth and resurrection. The Egyptians buried eggs in their tombs. The Greeks placed eggs atop graves. The Romans coined a proverb: Omne vivum ex ovo, "All life comes from an egg." And legend has it that Simon of Cyrene, who helped carry Christís cross to Calvary, was by trade an egg merchant.
Easterís most valuable eggs were hand crafted in the 1880s. Made by the great goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé. Fabergé is one of the most illustrious names among the important jewelry houses. Gold easter eggs were commissioned by Czar Alexander III of Russia as gifts for his wife, Czarina Maria Feodorovna. Forty-three of the fifty-three eggs, known to have been made by Fabergé, are now in museums and private collections.
Although fully signed there is a "but" with this egg. The Fabergé company that made this beauty is not the Russian company from before the Russian revolution but the modern Faberge jewelry house in Geneva, Switzerland. There is no doubt where they got the inspiration from to make this egg, as the old Fabergé was know for his special decorated eggs. The craftmanship on this pendant is the name of Fabergé worthy. It is decorated with yellow and black enamel and set with four brilliant cut diamonds. When opened a little cross on a chain comes hanging out (that can be taken out by a goldsmith). There is place for a little picture on each side of the locket.
Antique jewelry object group: pendant
Country of origin: Switzerland
Style: estate jewelry
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Period: ca. 1980
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Source of inspiration: Fabergé
Material: 18K yellow gold
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Technique: Enamelling is an old and widely-adopted technology. The ancient Egyptians applied enamels to pottery and stone objects. The ancient Greeks, Celts, Russians, and Chinese also used enameling processes on metal objects. Enamel is the colorful result of fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 degrees Celsius. The powder melts and flows and hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal, glass or ceramic. According to some sources, the word enamel comes from the High German word smelzan (to smelt) via the Old French esmail. Used as a noun, "an enamel" is a usually small decorative object, coated with enamel coating, such as a champlevé or a cloisonné (different techniques).
Extra information: This specific shape of cross is used in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The top line is said to represent the headboard, and the bottom, slanted line represents the footrest, wrenched loose by Jesus' writhing in intense agony. It is raised to the left side, because that was the side of the righteous criminal who said to Jesus: "remember me when you come into your kingdom". This symbolises the victory of good over evil.
Diamonds: Four modern brilliant cut diamonds with a total estimated weight of approx. 0.12 crt.
Note: All diamond weights, color grades and clarity are approximate since the stones were not removed from their mounts to preserve the integrity of the setting.
Birthstones: Diamond is the birthstone (or month stone) for April.
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More background information on: The old Russian Fabergé and the modern Fabergé
Signature: The egg is signed "Fabergé" and numbered 56/500
Hallmarks: 750 indicating 18K gold
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Condition: excellent condition
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Dimensions: height egg 2.00 cm (0.79 inch)
Weight: 10.10 gram (6.49 dwt)
Reference Nº: 09330-4379
Jewelry with birthstones (or month stones) for:
January - February - March - April - May - June - July
August - September - October - November or December.
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